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Bullet Sunday 31

Posted on Sunday, May 20th, 2007

Dave!I'm home safe for a rather late Bullet Sunday! As somebody who travels quite often, I fully accept that shit happens. Weather can cause delays. Mechanical difficulties pop up. Unforeseen drama can ensue at any time. And, as always, human error is a factor. Rather than get upset by it all, I try my best to just accept it as part of the game and not let it get to me. I find it easiest to travel with the attitude that things will go wrong, whatever happens will happen, and deal with it the best I can when things actually do go wrong. On the other hand, however, it's how the companies actually involved in the problem deal with things that determine whether or not I go out-of-my-fucking-mind ballistic over the situation.

• Delta. Unfortunately, Delta not only dropped the ball when things went wrong for my flight home, they then proceeded to kick the ball into a pile of shit, piss on it, light it on fire, then throw it at my head. This is hard for me to say, because most all of my past experience with Delta has been good. After Alaska Air, they are probably my favorite airline to fly. It was not Delta's fault that traffic at JFK was backed up and we had to sit on the tarmac for 40 minutes. It WAS their fault that they didn't dispatch customer service agents to help those of us who were going to miss our connections (not even ONE fucking agent was there to greet us... and this is a major Delta hub!). It WAS their fault that they said our connecting flights were aware of our delay and if we ran we could probably make our flights. It WAS their fault that when I tracked down somebody, they had me run all the way across the airport to "Gate 24" only to find out that "Gate 24" DOESN'T EXIST... they sent me to a customer service station so they wouldn't have to deal with me. It WAS their fault that their misinformation about making my flight made me re-check my luggage after Immigration, leaving me stranded overnight with nothing but a GameBoy, my laptop, and a credit card. It WAS their fault that not one of their agents had a hotel hotline number for displaced passengers, and I had to pay fucking $225 to get a room so I wouldn't have to spend the night in an airport bathroom. Basically, I was misled, lied to, shoved aside, abandoned, treated like crap, then stranded... all within the course of a two-hour period by Delta. Kind of makes me wish they would have went fucking bankrupt, and this is coming from a former loyal and happy customer. Fuck Delta. Fuck them up their stupid asses.

• Security. I joke about looking like a terrorist, but reality seems to back this up. If anybody is ever going to be given a "second screening" at airport security, it's probably going to be me. I have been pulled aside for body searches and questioning more times than I can count. It never bothers me, I always cooperate, and I never complain... because it is what it is, and there's nothing I can do about it (unless I want to shave, dye my hair blonde, and start wearing 3-piece business suits). And, even though I've become accustomed to it, being pulled from the screening line by two Turkish security guards for a third screening was a bit disconcerting. Especially when I saw that they were taking me to a small, dark, private room across the passenger lounge...

Turkish Security Room

But it turns out to have been no big deal... all they did was pat me down and check my shoes. The room was more for my benefit than theirs, as I think they just wanted to spare me any embarrassment from public scrutiny (which was actually kind of considerate). The door was open the entire time, they were really nice and apologetic about the entire ordeal, and it took less than 5 minutes. I've had a lot worse from American security screenings. It's at this point that I kind of started feeling bad for foreign countries who want to maintain good relations with the USA. On one hand, they have to risk upsetting visitors with more strict and thorough security procedures. On the other hand, can you imagine what the reaction of the US government would be if they inadvertently let a terrorist on a US-bound plane? I wish US citizens who travel abroad would realize this before they start bitching about how rough security is in other countries. They're just trying to keep us safe and our government happy, so shut the fuck up already.

• Crack. I picked up some sesame-covered toffee peanuts while in Santorini because a local business was handing out free samples and I became addicted after just one bite. I now know what it must be like to have a crack-cocaine habit, because these things are more addictive than soft-serve swirl ice cream cones and chocolate pudding combined. I wake up in the middle of the night craving them. Heaven only knows what the withdrawal is going to be like when I finally eat my last peanut.

• Homeward. In driving back from Seattle this afternoon, I got stuck behind some asshole who was driving 10-15 miles under the speed limit. I kept speeding up to pass him, but oncoming traffic was too heavy, and I couldn't find an opening. Finally, after 10 minutes of this shit, I found my chance and made my move. As I was passing, I looked over and saw that the fucker was FLIPPING ME OFF! Yeah, asshole... it's MY FAULT that YOU are driving so damn slow. I'M the asshole because YOU can't drive the speed limit. I hate this shit more than anything else on earth, and it took all my willpower not to slam into this dumb-fuck and run him off the road. And yet, if I were to follow him home, cut off his middle finger with wire-cutters, smash his windshield with a baseball bat, then kick the shit out of him and light his ass on fire... it would be ME who was considered the criminal! I mean, seriously, if you can't drive the speed limit, you should EXPECT that people are going to want to pass your stupid ass. Don't get mad at them because of YOUR problem. Bleh. It's so good to be back home.

• Shipping. Speaking of home... I miss my balcony with a waterfront view from my home onboard the ship...

Dave's Ship Home

One day I turned my deck-chairs backwards and turned on my balcony light so I could figure out which cabin was mine. Now that I'm looking at this photo, does it really make a difference? Oh well. I suppose even more than my balcony waterfront view, I miss having housekeeping services. My apartment is a mess, and there's two-weeks worth of clothes that need to be washed.

Would somebody please send me a million dollars so I don't have to go back to work in the morning?

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Comments

  1. Iron Fist says:

    Well, this is a relief: I thought we were all going to have to miss out on Bullet Sunday thanks to some stupid airline mishap. Welcome back, Dave!

  2. adena says:

    Hey, I was CLOSE! You were ALMOST stuck in NJ!

    Sorry your flight back sucked so much, but I find it hard to feel pity for you when you DID get to take such an amazing trip in the first place….

  3. Anthony says:

    I had almost the exact same story as you from Delta at JFK. Absolute nightmare. Sorry to hear it was a shitty end to the holiday.

  4. Kyra says:

    Hmmm, you know, if you dyed your hair blonde and shaved you might get pulled aside for even MORE security checks… different kind of security, mind you. ;)

  5. Kelly says:

    If you find that person to send you a million… give them my addy too… sorry about your flight… I usually have good experience with Delta too…but I guess we all have our days… have fun at work…

  6. kapgar says:

    Are you sure you try to practice a Buddhist lifestyle?

    Sorry I didn’t comment on any of your cruise posts. I was too busy mopping up the drool. So was Katie.

    So, avoid Delta, eh?

  7. Avitable says:

    If you find someone to give you a million dollars, send them my way next.

  8. iddly says:

    There is only ONE thing better than ice cream and chocolate pudding combined and that is more ice cream and chocolate pudding combined.

    Peanuts to you! :)

  9. holygirl427 says:

    Are you sure it wasn’t gate 24 ¾ you were supposed to be at? Did you even attempt to make run at one of the walls? ;-)

    I hope you master your chi soon, Grasshopper, because we love you to bits, even if the damn airlines don’t. Good to have you back.

  10. RW says:

    Damn! And I just used my last million! Sorry old boy!

  11. Dariush says:

    Haha, Dave, I laugh because I’ve been there.

    In a two week span, Delta lost my luggage both coming and going, and then took three days to find it both times. Once, when I was talking to a supervisor, the SOB hung up on me. Honest-to-God just scoffed and slammed the phone down when I got mad that they had misplaced my luggage and all I had to wear was a yellow (UGH) shirt that my grandmother had gotten at Ralph’s.

    Also, it’s the beard, man. Your skin tone is fair enough that sans beard, you should be okay. Not so, for this guy, with perpetual five o’clock shadow and a skin tone of a Taliban recruiting poster. Airport security is like a date with Mike Tyson for me. And then there was the time I was really tired and said “I don’t think my flight is going to make it” to the security checkpoint lady when I meant “My flight has been delayed and I don’t think I’ll make my connection in Dallas.” I could almost hear the snap of the rubber glove…

    Welcome back, though, dude!

  12. Hilly says:

    Drat – I just gambled away my last two million last night ;).

    I cannot believe the kind of travel karma you had, especially since you are so easy going about all of the other things people whine about. I’ve been in the little room before, but not quite with two Turkish guards!!!

  13. Bogup says:

    Welcome home Dave2!
    At least you didn’t have to take a bus from Chicago to Spokane or somesuch. I understand one of the ways Delta pulled itself from the brink of bankruptcy (besides cutting pilot pay to the max) was reducing employee “overhead.” I guess you found the impact of that in nonexistant customer service upon landing in NY.
    Anyway glad to have you back. Eat an applet to remind yourself you are home.

  14. James says:

    I paypalled a million dollars to your email address – Check your inbox.

  15. Bre says:

    If you find someone to donate a million to the “never have to work again” foundation, will you slip me their name?

    I am lucky enough to (touch wood) never have been stranded in an airport, but I imagine that that’s it’s own separate circle of hell. Sorry you had to suffer through!

  16. whit says:

    I believe I’ve seen those sesame-toffee nuts at Cost Plus World Market. If not, I know where you can score some actual crack, which has far fewer calories.

  17. ajooja says:

    I’m glad you’re home.

    I’m not going to mention anything about my travels. Don’t want to jinx anything.

  18. diane says:

    Glad you are home safe, but so sorry about your debacle with Delta. I hope you complained and/or wrote a letter hopefully resulting in some discount on future travels. I’ve been fortunate enough to get that out of United once or twice.
    I’d be happy to send my housekeeper your way, but I think I’d have to pay to fly her out there and for that matter, I’m not sure she’d go. ;)

  19. Stephanie P says:

    Dave, you made it home safely. Huzzah!

  20. Suzanne says:

    Glad you made it back after all that.

    Airlines are stoopid. And so are drivers who drive 10-15 miles under the speed limit and then flip you off when you pass them.

    Was it a 80-something old man who’s shrunk so much he could barely see over the wheel? They’re the ones I seem to encounter the most.

    The worst are the people who drive slow when you can’t pass them and then speed up during the brief window of opportunity when you theorectically could and then they slow down again— HATE them!!

  21. Jeff says:

    You’re just lucky Turkish security didn’t find your toffee peanut crack when you got pulled aside for the security check! You DID see Midnight Express didn’t you?

  22. shari says:

    Dude, one time Delta lost my dog. For over 16 hours. A live, breathing, hungry, thirsty, dignified Golden retriever; too proud to defecate or urinate in his travel crate, literally whimpering when I finally got him back. I have gone out of my way to never fly that airline since. So glad you’re safely home!

  23. Dave2 says:

    Iron Fist… I had actually written the entry for Bullet Sunday much earlier in the day, I just had to wait until I had internet to post it!

    Adena… Actually, if my flight went through Newark, I don’t think I would have had the problem in the first place. Hands-down the best airport I’ve ever used for clearing customs and re-checking my luggage has been Newark. Love that airport!

    Anthony… Part of the problem is JFK itself. It’s not so much the employees, who are doing the best they can, it’s the airport itself… it’s just not set up to handle all the additional security measures now required of it. It needs a drastic remodeling job in order to be functional in today’s travel world.

    Kyra… Oddly enough, that type of search would probably be less invasive!

    Kelly… The problem was that it was not just one incident out of a terrible situation that made me get so upset with Delta. It was incident after incident after incident. I was treated badly… VERY badly… by this airline for no apparent reason.

    Kapgar… Actually, I’m not writing off Delta altogether… this was one trip out of an otherwise great track record of Delta service. It is incomprehensible to me how things could go so very wrong this time… it’s almost like I was flying an entirely different airline. I will undoubtedly give them another chance (especially if I am flying to Salt Lake City) and hope for the best.

    Avitable… Aw, you don’t really need a million dollars… you’d just spend it on crap from the Sharper Image catalog!

    Iddly… Well I can’t argue with that logic! I think I would take double ice cream and chocolate pudding over some stupid peanuts any day!

    HolyGirl… No, I didn’t run into a wall… but I very nearly threw a Delta employee into one.

    RW… STAY AWAY FROM THE RACE TRACK, BOB… STAY AWAY FROM THE RACE TRACK!!

    Dariush… The odd thing? Delta has never lost my luggage. Every other major carrier has at least once. As for security… well, I look how I look and have no plans on changing just now, so I guess I live with the consequences… no matter how unpleasant they might be.

    Hilly… YOU WENT TO VEGAS WITHOUT ME?!? Or was this online gambling? If it was online gambling, that’s kind of a depressing way to lose two million. :-(

    Bogup… There certainly seemed to be a lot of Delta employees hanging around outside of the international area. For some reason, they just didn’t bother to send any of them to our gate.

    James… Thank you kindly… but are you sure you got my email address right? It doesn’t seem to have arrived yet…

    Bre… Oh I’ve been stranded at airports too many times to count. In fact, I don’t think that there’s a major airport I haven’t been stranded at. Washington Dulles is the biggest offender… I’ve been trapped there at least four times (that I can recall… it’s probably more).

    Whit… Crack also has the benefit of being tradable for sex. Sure it’s sex with crack whores, but it’s still sex! I don’t know of any woman who would give it up for peanuts.

    Ajooja… If you’re traveling international, that’s probably not such a bad idea!

    Diane… I will probably write a letter, but I doubt it will do much good. They never seem to change anything, even if I do get some small token “settlement” for my trouble.

    Stephanie… Thanks! Nobody is more happy about it than me!

    Suzanne… The idiot was older… but certainly not no 80 years old. I have no idea what his damage was, and I’m not sure I want to! And yes, it seems these morons ALWAYS speed up as soon as a passing lane turns up, then slow down again after it passes. This should be a death sentence offense, but do the cops pull people over for it? No. They pull over the people passing them for exceeding the speed limit. Grrr.

    Jeff… Ha! Yes, I have seen Midnight Express and thought it was complete and total shit. The movie was a gross exaggeration of actual events, and many of the most shocking situations in the film were outright lies that were nowhere to be found in the original book it was based upon. It kind of pisses me off that so many people had their impression of Turkey so badly damaged by this work of crappy fiction. In reality, Turkey is a wonderful country filled with kind and generous people that deserves far better. I hope with all my heart that I make it back to Turkey one day to explore more than the two cities I did. :-)

    Shari… Dude! Your dog is better behaved than most children! But at least you got him back! :-P

  24. this is the exact reason why I sometimes dread traveling. Getting there is usually fine, even if there is a problem, I’m so excited just to be getting out of town…and then you have your fun and then the way home just usually SUCKS because that is generally when things go wrong, when you just want to frickin’ get home. And then of course, I have gotten “felt up” twice at airport security. Once, I had a baby in a baby bjorn (a carrier) on my front and the guy reached in and squeezed my boob. The other time, I got goosed (on my way home from France). Consider yourself lucky in the frisking experience.

  25. Karl says:

    Welcome back, dude. Glad you didn’t wind up on the Midnight Express or anything heinous like that. Aside from Delta, of course.

  26. Lewis says:

    I’d say it’s a very good thing you’re home. Back to beautiful, quiet, comfortable, secure and safe home.

  27. ally says:

    welcome back!

    i don’t remember ever flying Delta. i do loathe Jet Blue with a passion.

    now isn’t it time to relax from the relaxing vacation???

  28. Lisa says:

    Welcome home to the state of STOOPID ass drivers! I see the welcome parade was ready for you. ;)

  29. RisibleGirl says:

    I’m just now getting to reading blogs after my almost 3 week trip to Italy. What a treat to see your pictures and read about your trip. We (that’d be the better half and I) plan to do this trip in 2009, so I’ll make notes of your likes and dislikes. Next year will be Scotland and Ireland. God I’m glad I married a man who likes to travel.

    If you’re interested in my trip, hop on over. I’m posting about it through Friday, then it’s back to the same old boring drivel.

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